Lately, there has been a lot of talk in Washington, DC, about fiscal responsibility. Under the guise of cutting government spending, some lawmakers are taking a hatchet to many of the landmark laws that protect our health and the environment—such as the Clean Air Act. But attacking the Clean Air Act is both fiscally irresponsible and terribly short-sighted.
This legislation has a 40-year track record of cutting dangerous pollution and, in 2010 alone, helped prevent an estimated 160,000 premature deaths and 1.7 million asthma attacks. On August 2, the total value of the net benefits provided to Americans by the Clean Air Act since its inception reached a staggering $50 trillion.
Yet despite the massive benefits that this landmark piece of legislation provides to the American people, certain members of Congress continue to try to undermine the Clean Air Act by working to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from reducing dangerous global warming emissions and other harmful pollutants. This has grave implications for our health, our children’s health, and the health of Americans for generations to come.
While the House of Representatives is currently on recess, they will return to Washington to continue debate on H.R. 2584, a spending bill that outlines the budget for the Department of the Interior and the EPA. The bill is an all-out attack on our air, water, lands, and wildlife, and includes nearly 40 anti-health, anti-environment amendments—including an amendment that would prevent the EPA from reducing global warming emissions under the Clean Air Act. Protecting our health and the environment is the fiscally responsible thing to do.